Among the Millet and Other Poems
124 Pages
English

Among the Millet and Other Poems

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Published 08 December 2010
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Project Gutenberg's Among the Millet and Other Poems, by Archibald Lampman
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: Among the Millet and Other Poems
Author: Archibald Lampman
Release Date: July 11, 2007 [EBook #12413]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK AMONG THE MILLET AND OTHER POEMS ***
This htm version produced by Thierry Alberto, Karen Dalrymple, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
AMONG THE MILLET
AND
Other Poems.
BY
ARCHIBALD LAMPMAN
Ottawa: J. DURIE & SON. 1888
Entered according to Act of Parliament of Canada, in the
[Pg i]
[Pg ii]
year 1888, by ARCHIBALDLAMPMAN, at the Department of Agriculture.
PRESSOFA. S. WOODBURN, 36 Elgin St., Ottawa, Can.
TO MY WIFE.
Though fancy and the might of rhyme, That turneth like the tide, Have borne me many a musing time, Beloved, from thy side,
Ah yet, I pray thee, deem not, Sweet, Those hours were given in vain; Within these covers to thy feet I bring them back again.
CONTENTS:
I. POEMS.
AMONGTHEMILLET APRIL ANOCTOBERSUNSET THEFROGS ANIMPRESSION SPRINGONTHERIVER WHYDOYECALLTHEPOETLONELY HEAT AMONGTHETIMOTHY FREEDOM MORNINGONTHELIÈVRES INOCTOBER LAMENTOFTHEWINDS BALLADEOFSUMMER'SSLEEP WINTER WINTERHUESRECALLED STORM MIDNIGHT SONGOFTHESTREAM-DROPS BETWEENTHERAPIDS NEWYEAR'SEVE UNREST SONG ONEDAY
1 2 5 6 9 10 11 12 14 18 21 23 24 25 27 30 34 37 38 40 43 45 46 47
[Pg iii]
[Pg iv]
[Pg v]
SLEEP THREEFLOWERPETALS PASSION A BALLADEOFWAITING BEFORESLEEP A SONG WHATDOPOETSWANTWITHGOLD THEKING'SSABBATH THELITTLEHANDMAIDEN ABUMIDJAN THEWEAVER THETHREEPILGRIMS THECOMINGOFWINTER EASTEREVE THEORGANIST THEMONK THECHILD'SMUSICLESSON ANATHENIANREVERIE
II. SONNETS.
LOVE-DOUBT PERFECTLOVE LOVE-WONDER COMFORT DESPONDENCY OUTLOOK GENTLENESS A PRAYER MUSIC KNOWLEDGE SIGHT ANOLDLESSONFROMTHEFIELDS WINTER-THOUGHT DEEDS ASPIRATION THEPOETS THETRUTH THEMARTYRS A NIGHTOFSTORM ATTHERAILWAYSTATION A FORECAST INNOVEMBER THECITY MIDSUMMERNIGHT THELOONS MARCH SOLITUDE THEMAPLES THEDOG
48 50 51 52 53 56 58 60 61 64 67 69 73 74 82 87 103 105
123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151
[Pg vi]
I. POEMS.
POEMS.
AMONG THE MILLET.
The dew is gleaming in the grass, The morning hours are seven, And I am fain to watch you pass, Ye soft white clouds of heaven.
Ye stray and gather, part and fold; The wind alone can tame you; I think of what in time of old The poets loved to name you.
They called you sheep, the sky your sward, A field without a reaper; They called the shining sun your lord, The shepherd wind your keeper.
Your sweetest poets I will deem The men of old for moulding In simple beauty such a dream, And I could lie beholding,
Where daisies in the meadow toss, The wind from morn till even, Forever shepherd you across The shining field of heaven.
APRIL.
Pale season, watcher in unvexed suspense, Still priestess of the patient middle day, Betwixt wild March's humored petulence And the warm wooing of green kirtled May, Maid month of sunnypeace and
[Pg vii]
[Pg 1]
[Pg 2]
sober grey, Weaver of flowers in sunward glades that ring With murmur of libation to the spring:
As memory of pain, all past, is peace, And joy, dream-tasted, hath the deepest cheer, So art thou sweetest of all months that lease The twelve short spaces of the flying year. The bloomless days are dead, and frozen fear No more for many moons shall vex the earth, Dreaming of summer and fruit laden mirth.
The grey song-sparrows full of spring have sung Their clear thin silvery tunes in leafless trees; The robin hops, and whistles, and among The silver-tasseled poplars the brown bees Murmur faint dreams of summer harvestries; The creamy sun at even scatters down A gold-green mist across the murmuring town.
By the slow streams the frogs all day and night Dream without thought of pain or heed of ill, Watching the long warm silent hours take flight, And ever with soft throats that pulse and thrill, From the pale-weeded shallows trill and trill, Tremulous sweet voices, flute-like, answering One to another glorying in the spring.
All day across the ever-cloven soil, Strong horses labour, steaming in the sun, Down the long furrows with slow straining toil, Turning the brown clean layers; and
[Pg 3]
one by one The crows gloom over them till daylight done Finds them asleep somewhere in duskèd lines Beyond the wheatlands in the northern pines.
The old year's cloaking of brown leaves that bind The forest floor-ways, plated close and true— The last love's labour of the autumn wind— Is broken with curled flower buds white and blue In all the matted hollows, and speared through With thousand serpent-spotted blades up-sprung, Yet bloomless, of the slender adder-tongue.
In the warm noon the south wind creeps and cools, Where the red-budded stems of maples throw Still tangled etchings on the amber pools, Quite silent now, forgetful of the slow Drip of the taps, the troughs, and trampled snow, The keen March mornings, and the silvering rime And mirthful labour of the sugar prime.
Ah, I have wandered with unwearied feet, All the long sweetness of an April day, Lulled with cool murmurs and the drowsy beat Of partridge wings in secret thickets grey, The marriage hymns of all the birds at play, The faces of sweet flowers, and easeful dreams Beside slow reaches of frog-haunted streams;
Wandered with happy feet, and quite forgot The shallow toil, the strife against the
[Pg 4]
grain, Near souls, that hear us call, but answer not, The loneliness, perplexity and pain, And high thoughts cankered with an earthly stain And then the long draught emptied to the lees, I turn me homeward in slow pacing ease,
Cleaving the cedar shadows and the thin Mist of grey gnats that cloud the river shore, Sweet even choruses, that dance and spin Soft tangles in the sunset; and once more The city smites me with its dissonant roar. To its hot heart I pass, untroubled yet, Fed with calm hope, without desire or fret.
So to the year's first altar step I bring Gifts of meek song, and make my spirit free With the blind working of unanxious spring, Careless with her, whether the days that flee Pale drouth or golden-fruited plenty see, So that we toil, brothers, without distress, In calm-eyed peace and godlike blamelessness.
AN OCTOBER SUNSET.
One moment the slim cloudflakes seem to lean With their sad sunward faces aureoled, And longing lips set downward brightening To take the last sweet hand kiss of the king, Gone down beyond the closing west
[Pg 5]
acold; Paying no reverence to the slender queen, That like a curvèd olive leaf of gold Hangs low in heaven, rounded toward sun, Or the small stars that one by one unfold Down the gray border of the night begun.
THE FROGS.
I.
Breathers of wisdom won without a quest, Quaint uncouth dreamers, voices high and strange, Flutists of lands where beauty hath no change, And wintery grief is a forgotten guest, Sweet murmurers of everlasting rest, For whom glad days have ever yet to run, And moments are as æons, and the sun But ever sunken half-way toward the west.
Often to me who heard you in your day, With close wrapt ears, it could not choose but seem That earth, our mother, searching in what way, Men's hearts might know her spirit's inmost dream, Ever at rest beneath life's change and stir, Made you her soul, and bade you pipe for her.
II.
In those mute days when spring was in her glee, And hope was strong, we knew not why or how, And earth, the mother, dreamed
[Pg 6]
with brooding brow. Musing on life, and what the hours might be, When love should ripen to maternity, Then like high flutes in silvery interchange Ye piped with voices still and sweet and strange, And ever as ye piped, on every tree
The great buds swelled; among the pensive woods The spirits of first flowers awoke and flung From buried faces the close fitting hoods, And listened to your piping till they fell, The frail spring-beauty with her perfumed bell, The wind-flower, and the spotted adder-tongue.
III.
All the day long, wherever pools might be Among the golden meadows, where the air Stood in a dream, as it were moorèd there Forever in a noon-tide reverie, Or where the birds made riot of their glee In the still woods, and the hot sun shone down, Crossed with warm lucent shadows on the brown Leaf-paven pools, that bubbled dreamily,
Or far away in whispering river meads And watery marshes where the brooding noon, Full with the wonder of its own sweet boon, Nestled and slept among the noiseless reeds, Ye sat and murmured, motionless as they, With eyes that dreamed beyond the night and day.
[Pg 7]
[Pg8]
IV.
And when, day passed and over heaven's height, Thin with the many stars and cool with dew, The fingers of the deep hours slowly drew The wonder of the ever-healing night, No grief or loneliness or wrapt delight Or weight of silence ever brought to you Slumber or rest; only your voices grew More high and solemn; slowly with hushed flight
Ye saw the echoing hours go by, long-drawn, Nor ever stirred, watching with fathomless eyes, And with your countless clear antiphonies Filling the earth and heaven, even till dawn, Last-risen, found you with its first pale gleam, Still with soft throats unaltered in your dream.
V.
And slowly as we heard you, day by day, The stillness of enchanted reveries Bound brain and spirit and half-closèd eyes, In some divine sweet wonder-dream astray; To us no sorrow or upreared dismay Nor any discord came, but evermore The voices of mankind, the outer roar, Grew strange and murmurous, faint and far away.
Morning and noon and midnight exquisitely, Wrapt with your voices, this alone we knew, Cities might change and fall, and men might die,
[Pg 8]
[Pg 9]
Secure were we, content to dream with you, That change and pain are shadows faint and fleet, And dreams are real, and life is only sweet.
AN IMPRESSION.
I heard the city time-bells call Far off in hollow towers, And one by one with measured fall Count out the old dead hours;
I felt the march, the silent press Of time, and held my breath; I saw the haggard dreadfulness Of dim old age and death.
SPRING ON THE RIVER.
O sun, shine hot on the river; For the ice is turning an ashen hue, And the still bright water is looking through, And the myriad streams are greeting you With a ballad of life to the giver, From forest and field and sunny town, Meeting and running and tripping down, With laughter and song to the river.
Oh! the din on the boats by the river; The barges are ringing while day avails, With sound of hewing and hammering nails, Planing and painting and swinging pails, All day in their shrill endeavour; For the waters brim over their wintry cup, And the grinding ice is breaking up, And we must away down the river.
Oh! the hum and the toil of the river;
[Pg 10]